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As the Anti-Corruption Commission Sierra Leone heightens its public education approach, the Commission’s Northern Regional Office on Monday 14thNovember 2011 engaged departmental heads, senior officials of theMakeniRegionalReferralGovernmentHospital and members of the Health For All Coalition in a customized meeting at their Makama Hospital Conference parlour in Makeni. (Photo: Cross section of health personnel Makeni Government hospital listening to the ACC)
Declaring the purpose of the meeting, Mr. Raymond Alieu Kamara, ACC Coordinator – Bombali District, highlighted some public concerns and complaints that are becoming persistent in the operations and discharge of their functions and services to the public. Mr. Kamara continued to appeal to personnel to also take the responsibility in the maintenance of hospital properties and other materials such as vehicles, medical implements, equipment, fuel etc. He commended the staff of the Hospital on the improvement of punctuality more especially the night staff who have demonstrated dedication in the spirit of service and encouraged them to continue and add more value on their day to day activities.
The District Coordinator solicited their support towards the work of the Commission noting that the Commission is the people’s Commission and with their support the country will achieve the vision of the ‘Agenda for Change’ and a corrupt free society. He strongly encouraged Staff and partners of the Hospital to work with the Commission as partnership is central to the Commission’s work and above all, it is a core value to the Commission in achieving its vision, mission and mandate.
“We have all it takes to develop this country like other developed countries, but we should take collective approach in ensuring thatSierra Leonebecomes a corrupt free society as Corruption is not part of our culture, but people have chosen to be corrupt,” Mr. Raymond Kamara emphasized.
He reiterated that, corruption is a cancer that has eaten the integrity of individuals and destroyed every fabric of the State; so there is a need to work hard to avoid posterity holding us responsible for the country’s underdevelopment. Mr. Kamara informed them that the Commission is aware of every ill practice within the medical sector and encouraged them to desist from such practices as the Commission will not compromise with any defaulter. He stressed that it is a nationalistic obligation to partner in the fight against corruption with the Commission. He cautioned Medical personnel to work in line with government policies and procedures in carrying out transactions, and desist from duplicating payments for services as they are all unacceptable practices.
The Public Education Officer, ACC North Mr. Al- Hassan Sesay gave an overview of the Commission, its establishment, mandate, vision and the three pronged approach the Commission employs in the fight against corruption, which are; Public Education, Prevention and Confrontation.
Public Education Officer Sesay further apprised them on the increase in the number of the corruption offences from nine (9) in the AC Act 2000 to twenty seven (27) in the AC Act 2008, which indicates the seriousness of the Commission in the fight against corruption.
Mr. Sesay told them about the Commission’s two-faces which are; the sweet face, that is the Public Education, Systems and Process Review and the bitter face, which is the Intelligence, Investigations and Prosecution approach. Mr. Sesay went on to define corruption, the evils of corruption, and in turn solicited their support to join the Commission being that it leads the fight against corruption for the benefit of all.
Highlighting some of the 27 offences as contained in the AC Act 2008, Mr. Patrick Sandi, Regional Manager of ACC North noted that Misappropriation of Public Funds or Property, Misappropriation of Donor Funds or property, abuse of office, abuse of position, protection of public property, possession of an unexplained wealth, Offering, Soliciting and Accepting advantage, Corrupt acquisition of wealth, Gifts, to name but a few, are very critical to the work of hospital personnel.
He cautioned them to desist from corruption and all forms of corrupt practices that are against the Anti-Corruption law. Mr. Sandi further spoke on the importance of partnering with the medical sector as their role in nation building is central and fundamental. Manager Sandi explained the offences in line with their functions and asked them to give their utmost in the discharge of their duties as the Commission is not witch hunting anybody but rather want to see an effective and efficient service delivery network among hospital staff and patients.
Manager Sandi told participants how to report corruption and assured them of the Commission’s protection and confidentiality scheme. He gave them the ACC free hotlines they could use to report corruption. He mentioned the 10% reward informants’ benefit from the proceeds of any corrupt practice reported to the Commission.
In his conclusion, he encouraged them to partner with the Commission and feel free to come to Commission’s offices in the different regional headquarter towns to make enquiries and/or reports. The Regional Manger, North expressed his appreciation for the openness and valuable inputs made by various hospital staff during the meeting and assured them that issues reaching the Commission will be looked into by the Commission as the Commission treats every information with great importance.
The meeting was chaired by the Medical Superintendent Dr. Taqi and contributions were made by several attendees. The vote of thanks was given by Dr. Francess Wurie, Medical Officer.
Questions and answers which were all responded to by ACC Staff climaxed the meeting.
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